A bigger, plusher and more practical Mercedes-Benz C-class estate will reach the UK this autumn, and will be priced from £28,055 when it goes on sale.
The fourth-generation estate is the second model to join the new C-class line-up after the saloon, and comes with three engine options at launch.
The estate has the same striking looks as the saloon but is new from the B-pillars back. At 4702mm, it’s 96mm longer than the model it replaces, with an 80mm longer wheelbase of 2840mm.
The biggest beneficiaries of these increased dimensions are the rear passengers. They get 45mm more legroom, as well as extra shoulder, elbow and headroom, thanks to an increase of 40mm in the car’s width (to 1810mm) and a repackaged rear cabin.
Load capacity is slightly better than it was, too. With the rear seats up, you get 490 litres of storage (that’s a rise of five litres). When the seats are folded you get 1510 litres (10 more than before). By way of comparison, a BMW 3-series Touring will store 495 litres with the rear seats upright and 1500 with them folded.
The estate’s rear seats have also been made much more versatile. They can be folded in a 40/20/40 split instead of the 60/40 of the previous model, while their backrests can be unlocked and folded electrically.
Access to the load bay is made easier by specifying the tailgate with either an ‘Easy Pack’ function for assisted opening or via a ‘Hands-Free Access’ option. In the latter case, the boot can be opened or closed purely by waving a foot under the rear bumper.
Engine options will include a 179bhp 2.0-litre, four-cylinder petrol unit in the C200 and a 2.1-litre, four-pot turbodiesel giving 168bhp in the C220 Bluetec and 201bhp in the C250 Bluetec.
Further variants, including a C200 Bluetec and a C300 Bluetec hybid, will go on sale later this year. Drive goes to the rear wheels, while all-wheel drive is an option in some markets, though it won't arrive on UK models until late next year.
The classy interior has been borrowed from the new saloon, as have the configurable driving modes - Comfort, Eco, Sport, Sport+ and Individual - which alter certain driving characteristics. A variable steering set-up called Direct Steer is also standard, while the options list includes a whole host of advanced driver assistance systems taken from the S-class.
The new estate uses the same chassis as the saloon, and as such weighs 65kg less than its predecessor. Several suspension options are offered, including standard steel and sportier steel set-ups. Airmatic air suspension is also available - the first time this feature has been seen in the compact executive class. The Airmatic option includes a self-levelling feature.
One all-new feature is the launch of the Mercedes Connect Me services, which connect the driver with the car through a SIM card in the vehicle, even if they’re not in the car. The services, which will be rolled out across the Mercedes range, include the option to look at the fuel tank level remotely and to pre-program the heating system.
Prices start at £28,055 for the C200 petrol model, rising to £30,565 for the C220 Bluetec and £33,220 for the C250 Bluetec. Each model is available in either SE, Sport or AMG Line specification.
Does Mercedes' new C-class saloon lead the compact executive class? Find out in our video review below.
Additional reporting by Darren Moss, 20 June 2014
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